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Billy, Technician
Category: Pool and Spa
Satisfied Customers: 22678
Experience:  Licensed in Hydronics and Boilers
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I just changed the heater in my 1997 tiger river bengal.

Customer Question

I just changed the heater in my 1997 tiger river bengal. however, it won't heat past 98 degrees.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pool and Spa
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I also changed the thermistors (high limit and over temp) too. The model number of my Bengal is M371324.The "heater on" light illuminates when I reset the circuit breaker panel, but it goes out within a few minutes. However, it maintains a consistent 98 degrees. So the heater must be working. I removed the filter and verified that pressure was coming from each of the jets. I will keep the filter out for a few days to insure that it's not the problem. I went online and found an electronic thermostat for this model, but I don't want to change any more components without testing the spa further. Is there a way to test the electronic thermostat? Also, I would like to get an exploded view of the upper control panel so I can see how it connects to the electronic thermostat, so I can know how to remove it. I have pictures of my pack if that would help. I can send them via email. Thanks, JJ
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Is the control board and sensor still the oem 18 years old parts? or have been upgraded at all over the years?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
BillyI bought the tub from a friend in 2004. I have all of the original receipts for all of the work done on the tub. And as I recall, the only major maintenance done was the replacement of the heater and the two hi limit and over-temp sensors. The motherboard that's on the unit is the original IQ2000. I understand that there's an upgrade IQ2020 motherboard ($495). However, I would have to also replace the topside control (as the one that I have is not compatible with the new IQ2020 motherboard ($312 to $530 at Backyard plus). There are several topside controllers to choose from, and I'm not sure which one to use. I understand that I would have to retro fit the new top side controller to fit in the position of the old one. I'm a aircraft mechanic with United Airlines so I'm quite capable of doing the work. I just need to know which control to use. At any rate the current motherboard looks nominal. No hot spots (burn marks) or blown capacitors, etc.I also noticed that when I reset the CB, the "heater on" light illuminates and then goes out within a few minutes. This gives me the impression that the heater is working but that something is "commanding" it to turn off. That makes me believe that the Thermostat controller might be at fault. As such, I was leaning toward replacing the Thermostat control (part # ***** $65). Which is located right under the top side control. By the way, do you know where I can get an exploded view of the top side control so I can understand how to remove it? There are no screws on the top side, so I believe that it must be removed from the bottom side. I also noticed that there seems to be another separate circuit board pig tailed to the Thermostat control. Is this an after market fix?The rest of the hot tube is in great condition. All pumps work and there are no leaks. I'm not opposed to replacing the motherboard and the topside controller (which would cost around $1000 (unless you can point me to a better source). But if the existing mother board is in working condition, then maybe replacing the Thermostat control (at $65) might do the trick.I like the tub. It's given me 10 years of great service. I've already put $400 into it (plus $350 for a new cover 2 years ago). If I was convinced that a new motherboard and controller would give me another 5 years use, then I would shell out the additional $1000 to fix it. Otherwise, It might be better to use that $1000 as a down payment for a brand new tub.Let me know what you think.Thanks Billy
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.

Take this as more of an opinion...

Like anything mechanical, the "miles" you get on it, the odds increase for breakdowns. Unfortunately I canot give you the 100% fix with the theory that the new boards will buy 5 years...

The sure bet is to take the money you know you were going to spend anyway...and put towards a new system. 18 yrs is really good for this unit. The $1000 is going to be a bet....